WORSHIP IS A VERB
That’s fundamental! There is nothing passive about worship! Worship is a verb. Worship is a response. Worship is not an event that I show up for as a spectator. Worship is a LIFESTYLE. It’s my RESPONSE to God’s amazing GRACE and extravagant LOVE.
Worship is expressing our love and devotion to God. It’s responding to all that God is with all that we are.
Look at the actions mentioned in Psalm 95:
• Singing (v.1)
• Shouting (v.1)
• Making a joyful noise (v.1)
• Giving thanks (v.2)
• Making a joyful noise with songs of praise (v.2)
• Worship (v.6)
• Bowing down (v.6)
• Kneeling (v.6)
• Listening to His voice (v.7)
• Keeping your heart soft and tender (v.8)
WORSHIP IS A PERSONAL AND SHARED EXPERIENCE.
While worship flows out of our personal relationship with God; there is an aspect of worship that thrives in community! There is an aspect of worship that can’t be experienced apart from showing up when the church gathers to worship!
This shows up all throughout Psalm 95:
• “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD...” (v. 1)
• “...let us make a joyful noise...” (v. 1)
• “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving...” (v. 2)
• “...let us make a joyful noise...” (v. 2)
• “Oh, come, let us worship and bow down...” (v. 6)
• “let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (v. 6)
• “For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture…” (v. 7)
If you really look at the scope of Scripture it appears that our personal times in worship are basically preparation for the worship that takes place when the CHURCH of Jesus gets together! There is an aspect of worship that happens when we get together that can’t be duplicated or experienced alone.
We live in such an individualistic culture that idolizes the preferences and rights of individuals that sometimes we fail to grasp what the Bible teaches. According to the Bible, when you are really CONNECTING with GOD, one of the most immediate results of CONNECTING with God is that you are going to feel the need to CONNECT WITH PEOPLE in gatherings like Sunday mornings and in small groups!
This is why Jesus and one unknown writer said stuff like this:
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:20 NIV)
...not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 NIV)
You’ll never experience all there is to experience in God apart from getting together on a regular basis with a worshiping community.
WORSHIP IS ALWAYS RESPONSE TO THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD.
Worship is about God. Worship is not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not about getting my needs met. It’s not about my preferred style. It’s not about my personal tastes. Worship is about God! It’s a response to the truth about God!
Look at what Jesus says in John 4:23-24: “...the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
WORSHIP ALWAYS BRINGS US INTO GOD’S PRESENCE.
The story in the Bible begins and ends with the presence of God. In Genesis, God walks and talks with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In the book of Revelation, John hears a shout from the throne of God, “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women.” (Revelation 21:3-4 MSG)
Even Jesus’ name is Immanuel — GOD WITH US!
The GOAL of WORSHIP is always to experience the PRESENCE OF GOD.
• “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving...” (Psalm 95:1-2a ESV)
• “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6-8a ESV)
• “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)
• “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence...” (Isaiah 64:1 ESV)
God is present everywhere, but when we respond to all that God is with all that we are...
When we declare with our heart, mind and will: “God, you are WORTH MORE!”
When we respond to God with our and actions…
When we make worship a personal and shared experience…
When we worship God in spirit and truth…
We experience an awareness of the presence of God that changes us from the inside out.